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On the DL
Picture of V-Tail
posted
This is Open Enrollment season for MediCare, through December 7.

I was evaluating our plan, thinking about a possible change, so I contacted our carrier -- United HealthCare. They assured me that I could disregard the December 7 "drop dead" date, in the sense that if I stayed with United, I could change plans at any time with no penalty.

Yesterday, my wife got home from work and opened her mail. There was a very official looking letter from medicare.com stating that any change in coverage must be completed by December 7 in order to avoid penalties, and it is urgent that we use the medicare.com website to evaluate our money-saving options.

That certainly did not agree with what the United HealthCare rep told me, so I took a close look at the letter. A careful reading of the letter, and the small print disclaimers at the bottom, disclosed that medicare.com is NOT a government website; rather, it is a site that wants to put you in touch with an insurance sales person.

My people have a word for this: chutzpah.

The letter went into the shredder.

The real website, by the way, is medicare.GOV, not medicare.COM.



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 18984 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Crusty old
curmudgeon
Picture of Jimbo54
posted Hide Post
I saw the .com in your title and thought hmmm, that's a problem. Nice catch.

Our doctor and his lab are dropping support for our current Advantage plan so we are in the position of deciding on trying to find a new PC doctor or changing our coverage to another plan. I feel like I'm tip toeing through a mine field of BS and demons. The problem is that we really like and trust our doctor, whom we have been going to for years. Thank God we have time to make the decision.

Jim


________________________

"If you can't be a good example, then you'll have to be a horrible warning" -Catherine Aird
 
Posts: 7023 | Location: The right side of Washington State | Registered: September 14, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Haveme1or2
posted Hide Post
For a Medicare supplement There is a company that will look at your needs/wants, compare all the insurance companies available to you and make suggestions.
Health plan one is the name.
877-581-5373 ext 817 Greg Keener is the guy that has helped me do all this that I could never do on my own.
This post is reminding me to give them a call.
I fear opening that can of worms ... But they did help me allot in picking a Medicare supplement insurance last year.

I edited this. After a couple of hrs I'm now enrolled in a better plan

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Haveme1or2,
 
Posts: 443 | Location: Mint Hill NC | Registered: November 26, 2016Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Little ray
of sunshine
Picture of jhe888
posted Hide Post
Many are not as careful or observant as you.




The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
 
Posts: 46494 | Location: Texas | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Crusty old
curmudgeon
Picture of Jimbo54
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Haveme1or2:
For a Medicare supplement There is a company that will look at your needs/wants, compare all the insurance companies available to you and make suggestions.
Health plan one is the name.
877-581-5373 ext 817 Greg Keener is the guy that has helped me do all this that I could never do on my own.
This post is reminding me to give them a call.
I fear opening that can of worms ... But they did help me allot in picking a Medicare supplement insurance last year.

I edited this. After a couple of hrs I'm now enrolled in a better plan


I made an appointment with a Medicare adviser that specializes in advantage plans and I'll let him walk me through the quagmire and fine print. I guess I can't complain too much because there are a number of options available in out state, unlike states where there are few options.

Jim


________________________

"If you can't be a good example, then you'll have to be a horrible warning" -Catherine Aird
 
Posts: 7023 | Location: The right side of Washington State | Registered: September 14, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
On the DL
Picture of V-Tail
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Jimbo54:

I made an appointment with a Medicare adviser that specializes in advantage plans and I'll let him walk me through the quagmire and fine print. I guess I can't complain too much because there are a number of options available in out state, unlike states where there are few options.
Wife and I did not want Medicare Advantage, they all seem to be HMO plans. She knows more than she wants to know about HMO, since she worked for an insurance company as a case manager. She could not stand the way that they treated their customers.

We chose a traditional Medicare Supplement ("MediGap") instead, ours is PPO instead of HMO, so we can choose our own providers, we do not need a referral from Primary Care Doc to see a specialist. At the time that we enrolled, both of us were in excellent health, but I said, "our health is not going to last forever, so let's cover our bases." We chose Plan J, which had the most comprehensive coverage. Not the cheapest, by far, but I wanted to minimize worries in the future. It paid off. 2010, a week in the hospital while they were trying to find the source of my major bleeding (turned out to be diverticulosis), then forty-plus radiation sessions for prostate cancer. 2013, ambulance ride to hospital after missing a step getting out of the cargo area of our delivery truck. Surgery to implant reinforcing rods, screws, etc., in hip and thigh, week in the hospital, month and a half in live-in rehab center, several months of outpatient physical therapy. 2016, week in the hospital after being hit with Guillain Barré Syndrome, transfusions, etc. Total out-of-pocket cost on all of the preceding: ZERO!

Plan J is no longer offered to new subscribers, although existing plan holders are grandfathered -- "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan." Razz

Plan F is essentially the same as the old Plan J except for two coverages that Plan J included, but are now superfluous since basic Medicare now includes them. Off the top of my head, might be slightly inaccurate, but I believe that these are a) up to $120.00 / year for preventive medicine, and b) $1,600.00 / year for at-home recovery care.



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 18984 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Just because you can,
doesn't mean you should
posted Hide Post
.gov not .com is the site you were looking for.

Don't worry, the IRS left me a message yesterday to call them immediately because they were swearing out a warrant for my arrest for not paying income taxes.
 
Posts: 4430 | Location: North GA | Registered: August 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I got the same letter in the mail today. As soon as I saw the .com I knew what it was and it hit the trash. But you have to admit that they do a good job fooling people.



"Even if the world were perfect it wouldn't be." ... Yogi Berra
 
Posts: 1040 | Location: York County, VA | Registered: August 25, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
On the DL
Picture of V-Tail
posted Hide Post
I really hate to think of all the people who will be taken in by this.

Probably not illegal, but sure as hell unethical.



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 18984 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
His diet consists of black
coffee, and sarcasm.
Picture of egregore
posted Hide Post
quote:
A careful reading of the letter, and the small print disclaimers at the bottom, disclosed that medicare.com is NOT a government website; rather, it is a site that wants to put you in touch with an insurance sales person.

This doesn't sound illegal, but it was deceitful as hell how it was presented.
 
Posts: 21093 | Location: Johnson City/Elizabethton, TN | Registered: April 28, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
member
Picture of henryaz
posted Hide Post
 
CMS (or whatever their acronym was back then) should have been more proficient in registering "look-alike" domain names. medicare.com was registered in 1996.
 
When I was working for a contractor that served primarily HHS contracts, one of our contracts was healthfinder.gov. Used to drive me crazy (because I was in charge of registering domain names), but the .gov developer of that site had us register every possible variant, including those with a hyphen (health-finder.xxx). Since we were the representative, and registrant of most of those domain names, he had us undertake legal action to claim any names close to his that were registered by other parties, and in almost every case we were successful. ICANN allows such disputes to be resolved in favor of the original owner and look-alike names, in most cases. I ended up registering over 100 name variants, especially when the new TLDs were released.
 
CMS should put forth the effort to claim medicare.com, and I'm sure they would get it. But maybe not, since it seems to be a legitimate informational site about medicare services and alternatives. Except for the scam, of course. That could tip the argument in .gov's favor.



all your sig are belong to us
 
Posts: 8327 | Location: South Congress AZ | Registered: May 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Avoid Medicare Advantage plans like the plague. They are HMO's with all their attendant disadvantages.
 
Posts: 1432 | Location: Central Virginia | Registered: July 20, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Junior Member
posted Hide Post
My medicare advantage plan has been in force for 3 years. It is a PPO and I will definitely keep it.
 
Posts: 4 | Location: Birmingham(Hoover) Alabama | Registered: October 29, 2018Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
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Thank you all for posting these details.
I finally blew my back out (I think this is the big one this time) and am going to have to go on Medicae after this short term disability from work is settled. Been holding off so the wife would still have medical, but that is no longer in the cards.
I appreciate the pointers given here. Thanks.
 
Posts: 215 | Registered: March 04, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
member
Picture of henryaz
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by USMCE4retired:
Thank you all for posting these details.
I finally blew my back out (I think this is the big one this time) and am going to have to go on Medicae after this short term disability from work is settled. Been holding off so the wife would still have medical, but that is no longer in the cards.
I appreciate the pointers given here. Thanks.

One thing to note, and not often widely known, is that after going on Medicare, you have six months to enroll in a Medicare supplement plan (Medigap) with no physical, no clause for pre-existing conditions, and no actuarial considerations (you pay the same as everyone else in your state for that plan). After the six months, when you enroll in one, they can adjust your premiums based on your age, health history, etc.



all your sig are belong to us
 
Posts: 8327 | Location: South Congress AZ | Registered: May 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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